Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (05): 936-944.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0067

• Excavation / Investigation Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A report on the 2019-2020 paleolithic survey in Yuxian Basin

NIU Dongwei1(), YAN Xiaomeng1, MA Dongdong2,3,4, XU Zhe2,3,4, PEI Shuwen2,3()   

  1. 1. Institute of Nihewan Archaeology, College of History and Culture,Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024
    2. Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
    3. CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044
    4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2021-02-07 Revised:2021-05-10 Online:2022-10-15 Published:2022-10-13
  • Contact: PEI Shuwen;


Yuxian basin, located in the southeast part of the Nihewan basin (senso lato) in Hebei Province, is an important area occupied by early hominins during Pleistocene. This report presents some preliminary results of the new Paleolithic survey conducted by the staff from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hebei Normal University from 2019 to 2020 in Yuxian basin. A total of 18 Pleistocene localities including 16 Paleolithic localities and 2 mammalian fossil localities, were newly discovered and confirmed, and 35 stone artifacts and a few mammalian fossil fragments were collected. The Paleolithic and fossil remains are buried in the Nihewan lacustrine sediments and loess. Typologically, the stone artifacts collected from these Paleolithic localities include hammerstone, cores (including microblade cores), debitage (whole flakes, flake fragments and chunks) and tools. The raw materials for stone knapping are dominated by volcanic rocks, followed by cherts and quartzite. The principal flaking and retouching technique were hard hammer percussion, while soft hammer had probably also been used when modifying bifacial preforms of wedge-shaped microblade cores. Based on the technological and typological characteristics of these stone artifacts, two different assemblages of lithic artifacts have been identified, one is a core-flake assemblage characterized by simple cores, flakes, lightly-retouched tools etc.; the other is a microblade assemblage characterized by wedge-shaped microblade cores. Based on the geomorphological and stratigraphic comparison in the Nihewan basin and the technological traits of lithic assemblage, it can be inferred that these new 18 discovered localities may be assigned to the Middle Pleistocene (n=4) and the Late Pleistocene (n=14). Furthermore, the two microlithic localities are more likely formed during the late Upper Pleistocene based on the comparison with the similar finds (Youfang site and Ma’anshan site) in the Nihewan basin of Yangyuan county.

Key words: Paleolithic survey, Stone artifacts, Middle Pleistocene, Upper Pleistocene, Yuxian Basin

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